June 28, 1998 and May 16, 2004 are dates of great importance to me. No they are not the day that Joe proposed to me and the day we got married – that would have made for a LONG engagement.
On the first of these days I was ordained a deacon in the Moravian Church. A day filled with joy as I officially entered into ministry that I had long since been called to. Normally an ordination service, in the Moravian Church, happens in the afternoon so that all the local pastors can be there to celebrate with the soon to be ordained. However, because of circumstances at the church my service was unique and was held during morning worship on June 28, 1998 by the Rev. Percy Henkleman. As the ordinand is presented to the bishop for ordination 3 people accompany them, a member of the Provincial Elder’s Conference (the Moravian Church’s governing body), a member of the laity and a member of the clergy. At one point, I believed that my husband, ordained just 2 weeks before, would be the clergy walking me to the alter, until one of my former pastors Rev. Steve Ghodes arrived and surprised me. To say joy filled my heart was an understatement (I wanted Joe to be my husband and not playing duel roles, not to mention what a surprise I had just been given). I’m forever grateful for the ministry to which I have been called.
Joe and I would go on to serve our first congregation together as co-pastors in at Palmyra Moravian Church, in Cinnaminson, NJ. That’s part two of my gratitude. They allowed us to learn and grow. They accepted our short comings and rejoiced at our successes. We were truly blessed to serve as their pastors. When it was time for us to bid our goodbyes may tears were shed because of the work that God had allowed us to do together. Yet, onward we had to go.
It was during our time serving at Mayodan Moravian Church (whe
re the Mayo River meets the Dan River) that we were consecrated presbyters in the Moravian church onMay 16, 2004 by the Rt. Rev. Dr. Wayne Burkette. Perhaps the first and
so far only consecration of a couple in the Southern Province of the Moravian Church. This consecration service was an a
ffirmation of our ministry
in the Moravian Church and our opportunity to reaffirm our call to continued ordained ministry within the life of the church. Joe and I remain grateful for this day and those who celebrated it with us.
Life in ministry has had it’s up’s and down’s – as with anything. I can’t imagine doing anything but ministry. Even though at this time, I’m not officially serving serving under call, at times, I feel as though I’m serving more under call than ever. As I participate and chair a couple of committee’s, I preach at different church’s – both ELCA and Moravian – almost every Sunday, I teach Sunday School, and my list could go on. As a very wise pastor recently told me: ” God has called you; God will lead you; God will open new ways to serve.”